Name: Mary Harris

Age: 18

Hometown: Pendleton

Currently living in: Pendleton

High school: Pendleton High School, graduated in 2014

Tribal membership: I am an enrolled Cayuse and Umatilla, but I am also non-treaty Nez Perce and Karuk. My Indian name is Ipnawasatilup, meaning “one who raises her hand in a religious way.”

High school sports and activities: I graduated with highest honors and honors diploma. I was in the National Honor Society, the treasurer for NABOR, the publicist for youth leadership and was in pep band. I performed dance for Native American month and for three years I received an outstanding French student award.

College: I am a freshman at Blue Mountain Community College and plan on transferring to focus on a degree in engineering.

Occupational goals: After making a P-51 D Mustang on the Solidworks program in high school, I fell in love with aircraft. I want to be an engineer that designs aircraft or spacecraft.

Past Round-Up or Happy Canyon volunteer involvement: I have been involved since I was 1 month old in a cradleboard. I have danced and rode in the arena. I got second in the junior beauty pageant, fourth in the senior beauty pageant and won the Pendleton Woolen Mills dancing competition numerous times. I have carried flags for Happy Canyon and Round-Up in parades.

Community or volunteer experiences: I have done exhibition dancing for the foster family dinner and many other events, and have taught young girls how to dance in Daughters of Tradition. I helped host the Louisville girls basketball team in riding horses. I have volunteered at the Heartbreak Ridge horse ride for 15 years.

Parents: My father is Stuart Harris and my mother is Deborah Kerr Harris, both of Pendleton. My father grew up in Klamath Falls in the summers, and winters in Pendleton. My mother grew up in Prairie City and Wallowa. My parents have set up tipis for more than 30 years, ridden through the Round-Up Arena, and supplied horses for past princesses. In 2013, they were in a mounted horse group that won in the Dress-Up Parade. They have volunteered for Happy Canyon Properties and helped at the helper’s party.

Family involvement in Round-Up or Happy Canyon: My family has been involved since 1910 and camped in the tipi village for more than 100 years. They were involved when Happy Canyon was known as “The Over the Hill Show.” My great-grandpa Jim White was a rodeo contestant, had a successful relay race team and led 100 Umatillas to the cowboy competition. My grandmother was born in the tipi village during Round-Up week. My great-aunt Virginia Wilkinson (1948) was the Round-Up queen and my sister Katie Harris (2012) was a princess. Happy Canyon princesses include Anna Jane Wilkinson (1958,1959), Lois McFarland (1961), Mildred Naneges (1967), Bernadine Robertson (1969), Lona Pond (1982,1983), Crystal Pond (2006), Katie Harris (2010), and Anna Harris (2013). I also have family inducted into the Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame.

Favorite Round-Up tradition: My favorite thing to do is the swan dancing during the Pendleton Woolen Mills Saturday dancing.

History with horses: I have been riding since I was 4 years old. My court horses are Ollocot, a 16-hand leopard Appaloosa; Thunder, Ollocot’s full brother; and Reba, a sorrel. Our Appaloosas descend from the Wallowa band horses. My people are from the Wallowas.

Why did you want to be on the court? For many years I watched my sisters and helped get their horses ready and do beadwork. I wanted my chance to be like them and carry on family traditions.

Best part of the court experience: Meeting new people. Also, the parades are a great experience and it’s rather entertaining when Ollocot poses for cameras. I really appreciated going to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland and making kids smile.

Favorite memory of Round-Up/Happy Canyon: Being invited to watch the setting of the metal rings onto the wooden wagon spokes has helped me appreciate the labor and the knowledge that goes into maintaining the wagons and coaches used by Happy Canyon and Round-Up. All the animals in Happy Canyon makes it exciting and fun to watch.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.